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social sciences

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Republican Party (United States)  
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But as the Supreme Court heard a legal challenge to a Texas law (Lawrence v. Texas) in March 2003, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) publicly argued that the Court should not overturn sodomy laws because doing so would allegedly threaten traditional families in a number of ways, including making it possible to legalize incest and bigamy. The Senator's intemperate remarks set off a firestorm of debate with the Party over glbtq issues.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court's eventual far-reaching, pro-gay decision in Lawrence v. Texas appears to have energized the religious right wing of the Party, which is especially strong in the South, the Party's conservative base. It has renewed their calls for a Party Platform plank opposing same-sex marriage and endorsing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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The lack of consensus about glbtq issues in the Party--with moderates in urban areas and in the Northeast offering at least some measure of support for glbtq rights, while social conservatives, especially in rural areas and the South, remain implacably opposed--will likely continue. In a sense, the question of glbtq rights has been a hot button issue for a larger struggle within the Republican Party. The libertarian wing of the Party has proved sympathetic to glbtq issues, if only because it privileges the concept of individual liberty, while the socially conservative wing has been virulently anti-gay because it sees itself in a religious battle. Groups such as the LCR will likely face an uphill battle for full acceptance within the Republican Party.

Donald P. Haider-Markel

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social sciences >> Overview:  Elected Officials

In the United States, glbtq candidates have achieved some significant successes at the ballot box in the last three decades, running for and winning local, state, and national elections.

social sciences >> Overview:  Libertarians

Libertarians are not necessarily advocates of gay and lesbian rights, but they certainly want the state out of a person's bedroom and they question any governmental regulation of marriage.

social sciences >> Overview:  Political Science

Political scientists have generated insights important to the study of sexuality through research into glbtq participation in formal politics, studies of sexuality as a category of power, and reconceptualizations of the relationship between sexuality and politics.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sodomy

First used to refer only to anal intercourse, sodomy was progressively defined by the Church Fathers, and many later lawmakers, to include all sexual acts that could not result in procreation.

social sciences >> Bowers v. Hardwick / Lawrence v. Texas

Two of the most significant Supreme Court decisions regarding constitutional liberty for glbtq people are Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

social sciences >> Democratic Party (United States)

The American glbtq movement for equality has largely allied itself with the Democratic Party.

social sciences >> Gay Activists Alliance

An important organization of the early post-Stonewall era, the Gay Activists Alliance, which flourished from 1969 to 1974, strove to give gay men and lesbians visibility in American politics.

social sciences >> Log Cabin Republicans

Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian organization, is dedicated to the principle that equal treatment under the law for gay men and women is consistent with the principles and values of the Republican Party.

social sciences >> National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

The oldest continuously operating national glbtq interest group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has played a significant role in the development of the glbtq movement for equal rights.

social sciences >> Takano, Mark

In 2012, Mark Takano, a Japanese American from Riverside, California, became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.


Bailey, Robert W. Gay Politics, Urban Politics: Identity and Economics in an Urban Setting. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

_____. Out and Voting: The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Vote in Congressional House Elections, 1990-1996. Washington, D. C.: The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1998.

_____. Out and Voting II: The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Vote in Congressional Elections, 1990-1998. Washington, D. C.: The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 2000.

Bull, Chris, and John Gallagher. Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s. New York: Crown, 1996.

Button, James W., Barbara A. Rienzo, and Kenneth D. Wald. Private Lives, Public Conflicts: Battles Over Gay Rights in American Communities. Washington, D. C.: Q Press, 1997.

Layman, Geoffrey C., and Edward G. Carmines. "Cultural Conflict in American Politics: Religious Traditionalism, Postmaterialism, and U. S. Political Behavior." Journal of Politics 59.3 (1997): 751-77.

Lindamen, Kara, and Donald P. Haider-Markel. "Issue Evolution, Political Parties, and the Culture Wars." Political Research Quarterly 55.1 (2002): 91-110.

Rayside, David Morton. On the Fringe: Gays and Lesbians in Politics. Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Riggle, Ellen D. B., and Barry L. Tadlock, eds. Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic Process. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Rimmerman, Craig A. From Identity to Politics: The Lesbian and Gay Movements in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002.

_____, Kenneth D. Wald, and Clyde Wilcox, eds. The Politics of Gay Rights. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Smith, Raymond A., and Donald P. Haider-Markel. Gay and Lesbian Americans and Political Participation. Denver: ABC-CLIO Publishers, 2002.

Vaid, Urvashi. Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.

Yang, Alan S. "The Polls-Trends: Attitudes Toward Homosexuality." Public Opinion Quarterly 61.3 (1997): 477-508.


    Citation Information
    Author: Haider-Markel, Donald P.  
    Entry Title: Republican Party (United States)  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated December 14, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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